Dana Lee Calabrese and her cousin, Jackie Lezette, were on their way to dinner one night in Hollywood, California, when they saw a disabled homeless man collapse on the street. They called 911 and waited for the paramedics to arrive. It seemed like forever before they showed up, but once they did, their behavior was enough to send chills down the women's spines.
Dana asked the paramedics if they would be taking the man's few possessions with them to the hospital, and they callously responded, "No, are you? A million more dominoes fall a day around here.” Shocked by how uncaring they were, she decided to hold on to his belongings herself, in the hope that she would be able to find him soon and return them. When wheeling away his cart, she saw the sign the homeless man had been holding, and discovered that he was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran named Douglas Dean Hall.
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Dana took her plea to Facebook on April 30th, recounting the story in hopes that someone would know what had happened to the man since she last saw him. She said, “He is an ex marine, a Veteran who lost his leg! He fought for this country and we repay him by leaving him on the streets. Please help me find Douglas Dean Hall!”
The story seemed to end there because even though enthusiastic commenters were impressed by such a thoughtful act of kindness, unfortunately no one had seen him.
This changed over a month later, when a Facebook commenter saw the man and recognized him, and promptly informed Dana. She went to find him that same day and returned all of his belongings, which she had kept in the garage of her condo building all that time. In a Facebook post recounting their reunion, Dana said, "He was in tears several times during our conversation tonight and at one point he screamed on the top of his lungs 'God is Good!'"
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But Dana's generosity didn't stop there. The sign that Douglas had been holding on the street said that he was trying to get to New York, and he told her that this was because he hoped to reunite with some good friends of his who lived there. Dana took it upon herself to help make that dream happen. She has created a GoFundMe page to help raise money for his train ticket, as well as for food and anything else he might need during his transition to the city. Since being created on June 10th, over $2,000 has been raised, which already surpasses the original goal of $1,000.
We're touched that this young woman went above and beyond to help out a veteran in need, and we wish Douglas safe travels back to New York!